Walking in their Shoes
By Steve & Frances Orton and Joy Ercanbrack
We extend a heartfelt thank you to the many family members who went the extra mile to help make the 2014 Reunion such a great success! Please log on to the website to see pictures and read the full account of the reunion.
The family gained a deeper respect for our ancestors who lived in the Independence, Missouri area as we toured Far West, Adamondi-Ahman, and the sacred Liberty Jail. We learned that God does not abandon us, just as he did not abandon Joseph and Hyrum when they were unjustly imprisoned in the Liberty Jail. Truth does prevail and the mercies of God will be revealed.
The family met in the beautiful Community of Christ Stone Church and received gracious welcomes and family news, history, website, iDig info and news of upcoming events. Lach Mackay read a welcome letter to the family from Cousin Wallace B. Smith who was recovering from surgery.
The highlight of the evening was hearing the memories of Anina Mackay Luff as she reflected on the early reunions and said as she looked in the eyes of newly discovered cousins, she could see the eyes of her family.
Saturday morning, Richard G. Moore shared insights on the strength of Emma Smith. We gained a great respect for Joseph Smith III from the historical sketch given by Lach Mackay. A recorded message of unity and friendship was given by Elder M. Russell Ballard.
Saturday, a wreath was placed during a family memorial at the Mound Grove Cemetery. Dan Larsen welcomed the group and Fred Larsen gave a family message and tribute. The beautiful flowers were placed by Anina Mackay Luff and Christin Mackay. The setting was lovely and a spirit of peace was present.
Fred Larsen spoke to the family at a banquet at the Conference Center of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We gave new shoes to the women of the Mother’s Refuge, a women’s shelter that were temporarily staying at the Conference Center because their group home burned down. Our family also donated a check to help them with their rebuilding efforts.
Everyone at the reunion was given of new pair of shoelaces which represents a real connection to our Smith history with the challenge to remember our family ties whenever you lace up your shoes.